“As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom…” – Daniel 1:17
The role that skills development plays in your life can not be over-emphasized because someday, you are going to appear before a ‘King’ (I mean the head of that organisation you have been dreaming to join). He will have need for your skills and expertise. That day will be your one and only chance to encounter a defining moment in your life. That day will mark a turnaround in your life. That day will likely bring about your promotion from the prison to the palace, from the dungeon to the throne. But that day will also tell how much you have spent developing those skills that will take you before the ‘King’. Sometimes when I think of goal and aspiration, this is what runs through my mind.
Okay, I have in my life plan to become an executive director of a multinational corporation but have I learnt or developed the skills for leadership and corporate management? I am already struggling with my sales and have set a dream to beat my all time record of sales and make twenty million in my business, but have I developed my selling and marketing skills? I have attended any seminar to learn new things about the current trends in sales and marketing? I want to lead my organisation in its strategy and innovation actions but have I taken time to learn and develop research and analytical thinking skills? I want to be a better wife or husband but have I studied to develop my relationship and communication skills? When we think about all these, we will see that there is a long way to go in achieving all the goals we set for our self in our individual life plans. And this is why many people after setting such goals, do not achieve them and then become frustrated in life. They do not develop skills equivalent to the level of success they desire.
No success comes easy. Every success requires you to pay your dues. One of such dues is the amount of time and energy you put into learning and developing new skills that a relevant and prerequisite to becoming the kind of success man or woman you desire to become. The level of success you see in life is directly proportionate to the level of skills you have acquired over the years.
Our world is fast changing and the skills that were relevant in the past 10 years are considered so obsolete today. In this age we talk of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, motivation, competence, self-control, art of influence, people skills, etc), life skills (communication, assertiveness, interpersonal skills, value clarification, confidence, etc), ICT and social media skills (use of blogging, twitter, storify, flickr, vimeo, youtube, slideshare, hootsuite, twitterdeck, etc), entrepreneurship and business skills, leadership skills, and so many others which make the world go round every day. I feel that if you are living in this age, you are fortunate because it is actually the best time to live so far. At the same time, if you are reluctant about learning and developing your skills, you may as well be left behind in this age, which will make it look like this is the worst time to live in. I feel that people do not have a problem of not getting their dream job, but the problem of not developing their skills to match their dream job. It is that simple.
We have been discussing so many things on how to achieve your life plan in the past days. It is intentional to do so. This is because, I do not want your life plan to only be beautiful on paper. I want it to materialize. I desire to see your life excel. So, even though we have shared some things on how to achieve your life plan, it will not be complete if I do not challenge you to learn and develop new and relevant skills in the coming year and make it a habit for the rest of your life. No matter how beautiful your life plan is, you need skills to get you there.
Personally, I have developed a habit of building on my skills all the time. I go to trainings and events and sometimes obtain videos and lesson on leadership, personal development, video editing, maximizing twitter account, guitar lessons, web-creating and blogging, and so on and keep learning different things from different angles. So there are a few things I do and yet they are skills I learnt and developed over the years and when I tell people I learnt these skills on my own they will be like, ‘wow’! Yet, I am still seizing every opportunity to become more proficient daily in those skills that are in line with the goals written down in my life plan.
Make it a point of duty to know what skills are trending in your field and ensure you acquire them. Learn about the direction your job or business or relationship is going and follow up with likely skills that will be needed in the future. Doing this may cost you some money in form of buying audio and video programs and even travelling to workshops, conferences, or seminars. In some cases, it may involve stooping low to become an apprentice in a skill you know will pay off tomorrow. In some cases, you may discover you need to unlearn some skills or re-learn others. By all means, just make sure you are developing your skills. Learn to work with your hands, mind and heart.
The most disadvantaged people are those who refused to develop skills for success in life. If you do not learn those skills now, do not be surprised if after 10 years, you still find out that your life has been standing at a spot.
Prayer: May God cause you to desire to grow in skills, knowledge and wisdom as you approach your God-given dreams and vision in 2014. May you not be found lacking on the day of your presentation before the king. Amen!